Weaning the Mediterranean way with My Little Piccolo!

I am so excited to share this post with you – and I may have gone a little picture heavy but Isla was just too hilarious in these shots not to include them all so grab a cup of tea & get ready to dive in!

If you follow us on Instagram (go on, you know you want to!) you will know that we got a very special delivery this week, from Piccolo – a new organic baby food brand, inspired by the Mediterranean approach to health and wellbeing.

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Isla has always been very independent, especially when it comes to her food. We have mostly been trying Baby Led Weaning but with teething, it being so hot and travelling, I’ve been incorporating pouches to make sure Isla is getting what she needs!

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Piccolo’s founder, Cat Gazzoli, has spent her career campaigning for good, honest and natural food. As the CEO of the Slow Food Movement (in the UK) for 6 years, she certainly is an expert when it comes to food! Cat’s aim with Piccolo is to encourage healthy eating from 6 months and to introduce Mediterranean goodness in a delicious range of baby food. The range has been influenced by Cat’s Italian roots, her background in food education and passion for good, honest and natural food. The Mediterranean approach to nutrition and lifestyle is one that champions fresh ingredients and great flavours, lovingly prepared, shared with friends and family.

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They make six stage one blends (completely smooth, no lumps!), made with 100 percent natural, organic ingredients. With a range of adventurous and delicious flavours, each suitable for children from six months, little ones can discover new taste experiences such as Apple & Apricot with a pinch of cinnamon, Cherry & Yoghurt with wholegrain oats, and Spring Greens with a hint of mint.

The Cherry & Yoghurt is Isla’s favourite for breakfast & we usually have the spring greens to go along with her BLW lunch of cucumber, ham, tomatoes, & any cooked veg we can get our hands on!

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(Any excuse to get the light box out!)

This photo kills me… I think I might get it framed!

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She is just so thrilled that I finally let her play with the pouches! (If I let her play with them during meal times we both end up absolutely covered!!)

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‘Wanna share?’…

But the second you go to take it, she snatches it away and laughs in your face… I don’t know where she gets it from! Haha!

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Our combination of Piccolo pouches & chopped up… well… whatever I can find in the fridge… is working really well so Isla can explore textures, tastes and I know she’s eating well! I often mix it all together in a bowl and just let her grab what she wants which works perfectly but it does get seriously messy!

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Trying her very best to put it on the spoon herself… No help from Mummy please…

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Ok… maybe Mummy can help a little…

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The pouch was nearly empty so I thought she could handle holding it… 5 seconds later she squirted most of it up the wall… Rookie…

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All the flavours have been a huge success in our house, and will remain firmly on our shopping list! They are available from Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods & a range of other places that you can find here

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Oh and if you are feeling like Super Mum & have a spare second (apparently that happens once every few years…) you should check out their blog for some awesome recipes! I’m going to try the Courgette & feta fritters when I get a chance…

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A big thumbs up from us, good food with no added nasties & Isla absolutely loves them!

Have you tried Piccolo yet? Whats your LO’s favourite flavour? Send me your pictures of them enjoying on Instagram or Facebook and make sure you tag @MyLittlePiccolo too!

 

**This was a sponsored post but all the opinions are my own!

11 Months

This month has been a whirlwind of amazing changes & experiences for Isla!

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She’s now a confident little walker, and is starting to give running a go! She’s the busiest baby I’ve ever seen & is constantly exploring. It’s been so lovely to see her style of play advance as she’s getting really into her duplo.

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We went to Hitchin Lavender Fields for these photos & it was an amazing experience. Such a beautiful place to visit & pick up a few bags of lavender while you’re at it! I thought I should actually get in a few photos for once! IMG_0284IMG_0302

Isla took her first trip on a ferry, went abroad to France and visited the beach which was just incredible! She couldn’t have loved it more – and refused to hold my hand after she realised I was holding her back from going for a swim! Our determined little lady kept making a break for it to try & go deeper into the water!

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Still the cheekiest madam, and even starting to say a few more words! She now says Hi, Hiya, Egg, Dog, Mum, Dad/Baba, Nanan (for Nanny!), Grrr (for Grumps!), Up, and puts ‘my’ in front of everything!

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Plans are well underway for her first birthday party & birthday photoshoot too! 🙂 I can’t wait to share it with you all!

The Body Confidence Programme Review & Results

The day I gave birth to Isla was the best day of my life & she continues to bring so much joy every day but as a new Mum I think it’s very easy to lose your sense of self. My life has changed in every way possible; new house, new life, new town, new baby… all wonderful things but all together, a lot to deal with. When you add to that a new body that you can’t recognise as your own anymore, it’s easy to forget that you can be anything other than a sick & dribble covered mess that probably hasn’t showered for a few days…

I have slowly learnt to embrace the stretch marks that cover my stomach and my ‘mum-tum’ but the complete lack of confidence is not me and I’m just not willing to stay like that for a second longer. It was time to make a change or two… or three!

I was very kindly invited to join The Body Confidence Programme by the brilliant Ru-Tee who has meticulously put it all together with the promise of reducing by 16 inches over 8 weeks, which is two jean sizes!!

When you start the programme you get a food list, menus, daily emails and weekly conference call with Ru-Tee and all the other brilliant people on the programme to discuss your triumphs & challenges of the week. In the first call I was asked about my energy levels and my confidence that I said were both around a 2/10. Not good enough. Certainly not to walk down the aisle & feel great about myself. I was asked to take some ‘Before’ photos which actually made me feel sick at just the thought of doing it let alone sharing them at the end of 8 weeks… but I took a deep breath and just did it!! I will share my results and those photos (AHH!) at the end of this post!

The food list has no sugar, dairy, gluten, chemicals or anything you can’t pronounce so you have to cook everything from scratch and use all organic produce. I’m not the world’s greatest cook and since having the baby I’ve barely had time to feed myself a good meal even once a week, so the biggest challenge for me was always going to be time-management. After the first week of juggling, it got much easier & fit easily into our daily routine! Part of me doing this programme was allowing myself to put ‘me’ first for once & not allow any ‘mum-guilt’ to seep in!!

The first week was incredibly hard, I’m not going to lie. I am a self-confessed sugar addict so going cold-turkey was always going to be difficult. The cravings were like a little devil sat on my shoulder saying ‘Go on, just a little won’t hurt!’… I pushed through, stayed strong and emerged through the fog to find more energy, and much more balanced emotions!

As the weeks went on I consistently lost the inches and started to feel better about myself bit by bit! You get one cheat day a week, that I basically binged on everything I wasn’t allowed so that I would stick to it 100% the rest of the week! Speaking of percentages – there are lots of lifestyle aspects to the programme and along with your measurements every week you assess how well you’ve stuck to these too! For example – ‘Went to bed by 10.30 every night – 80%…’ ‘Chewed your food 35 times – 20%…’ Err… must eat slower… must eat slo… Oh wait it’s gone. Still got to work on that one…

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The most important thing for me was the support that you get, as I found I doubted myself by Wednesday every week… Am I doing enough? Am I sure that’s on the food list? What if I’ve put on inches this week…? It’s so easy to do but those conference calls were a saving grace. To hear that 10(ish) other people were going through exactly the same thing, makes it so much easier to stay focused. You feel like you are part of an incredible team and that spirit is encouraged and fostered by Ru-Tee’s enthusiasm and genuine love for what she does!

Week 5 was one of the hardest for me but once the end was in sight and I started to fit into my old clothes again, the confidence I had once taken for granted was starting to emerge. I found myself running after Isla with ease & not needing to nap during the day at all. These changes happened slowly over the 8 weeks but by the end my energy was up to a 9/10, my skin was looking so much better and I hadn’t been sick once!! I’ve spent most of my life ill – constant colds, flus and being stuck in bed for weeks at a time. To not be ill for a whole 8 weeks in a row is a huge deal for me, and regardless of the weight loss that in itself is invaluable!!

The promise of the programme is to reduce by 16 inches which is 2 jean sizes…

I reduced by… Drum roll please…

40 INCHES!!!!

Yes… seriously! I have taken the crown for best ever results on the programme… I would like to thank Isla for her words of encouragement, Barney for his constant support & not offering me Baileys… No, I’m just kidding.

I promised you those before & after pictures… So here they are… *Gulp*

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I’ve never committed to anything like this before but the programme encourages lifestyle changes that you can implement after your 8 weeks is up! I’ve continued to follow 75% of the programme since I finished (I’ve gone back to drinking caffeine and alcohol!) and while my weight loss has slowed, I’ve continued on my journey in a way that is sustainable for me in the long term! I loved the food on the diet & there’s nothing faddy about it. All good food that never leaves you hungry as so many other diets I’ve tried in the past have!

I’m incredibly proud of the hard earned success but I honestly couldn’t have done it without Ru-Tee’s support. Dieting can be incredibly lonely & the temptations have always been too much for me – but that support just lifts you up and carries you through to the end of the 8 weeks! If you are feeling like you’ve lost yourself since having a baby and feel like finding your energy & confidence again I can’t recommend this enough! Commit to it and to yourself because you deserve to feel wonderful again!

If you want to join the next programme it costs £450 & starts on Saturday 13th August – you need to sign up by Monday the 8th at 2pm to secure your place and you can even use my special discount code to get £50 off: Poppy50off

To use the code just select the £450 payment option – add it to your basket and enter the code into the coupon code box.

More information can be found on the website here – if you have any questions, leave me a comment, drop me a message or get in touch with Ru-Tee!

I can’t wait to hear all about your journey & see your results so please send me your before & after photos so I can share in your success too!

 

Moving into Isla’s room with GroBag

Ever since Isla was born I have always been very careful to follow the Lullaby Trust’s safe sleep guidance & now that she’s ready to move into her own room it’s more important than ever!

Incase you haven’t read up on the safest way to put your baby to bed, these are the current guidelines…

THINGS YOU CAN DO:

 

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
THINGS TO AVOID:

 

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding

 

To avoid accidents remove all pillows, soft bedding, cot bumpers and soft toys from the cot.

We swaddled Isla for the first few months as she constantly woke herself up with the startle reflex but now she’s done with swaddles we knew the best choice would be to put her in a GroBag to sleep! They work closely with the lullaby trust and are incredibly safe. Every GroBag comes with a thermometer and a guide to what your baby should be wearing when she sleeps which is useful for all us nervous first time Mum’s! 😉

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Moving Isla into her own room filled me with so much dread, and I really didn’t think it would! It’s hardly like she was moving far, only across the hallway, still I couldn’t help but be incredibly nervous! I even kept her cot in our room for the first few days just incase I chickened out and had to move her back. I even had the baby monitor on next to me so I could keep checking up on her! Luckily, there was nothing to worry about & we all loved it! No more waking every time she rolled over or coughed! I felt like I finally got a proper nights sleep for the first time in months and Isla slept beautifully in her GroBag.

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Just checking out her stylish new sleeping bag! 🙂

The GroCompany very kindly sent Isla this beautiful Kissing Rabbits GroBag to try out and we love it! An exclusive design collaboration, this Grobag features a funky Anorak print inspired by the great outdoors. Seeing as Isla is bunny obsessed I thought it would be the perfect choice for her!

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Isla’s nursery has come together really well & is exactly what I’d hoped it would be! I wanted it to be stylish but still fun for her to play in.

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This limited edition print is from the first Harry Potter film – and was art work in Harry’s nursery in Godrick Hollow! A little bit of my childhood that I’m hoping Isla will love just as much…

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The Cloud Mobile is from The Little White Company

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As you can see Isla is thrilled with her big girl room & her new GroBag! Almost two months have passed & she’s now finally sleeping through the night! (I can’t believe I just said that out loud… She’ll wake up 10 times tonight now I’m sure…!) 😉

We absolutely love the GroCompany and all their brilliant products! We also use their GroEgg Thermometer which is great for feeling confident that your little one is sleeping in the perfect temperature nursery.

Did you have the same worries when you moved your little one into their room? What were your main struggles? Join in the conversation on my Facebook or Tweet me @Poppy_Carter!

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

Raising a daughter in a world that will always value her second rate makes it my job to show her that she can be more, every single day. To teach her that she will be valued and valuable for more than how she looks but by her actions & contributions to this world! I want her to know that she can be bigger than the choices our broken society gives her. Join me in celebrating today & every day by telling the women around you just how incredible they are.Women's DayAdventures With Isla Baby Blog

Mothers Day Gift Guide

This year will be my first year as a Mummy on mother’s day & I’m looking forward to celebrating with a family lunch with all the Grandma’s and my beautiful Isla. I thought I’d give you a little inspiration incase you were planning on showing your love with gorgeous gifts as well as cuddles, kisses & homemade cards!

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1. The White Company – Deep Waistband Pull-Ons – Dark Charcoal Marl – £45

As a new Mum it’s unbelievably difficult to actually get dressed every day, so these are the perfect, super soft, comfy trousers that you can get away with wearing & people won’t judge you… Just grab the dry shampoo & go!

2. Prestat – Pink Marc de Champagne Truffle 175g – £12.50

These truffles are so perfect you won’t be able to resist! Prestat chocolates have been enjoyed by Queens, Princesses & Presidents – so why not add your Mum to that distinguished company!

3. Tiba + Marl – Elwood Changing Backpack – £120

Once you’ve had a baby your baby bag basically becomes your handbag for the next few years & for the most part that means style goes out the window… But not anymore! I am obsessed with these backpacks – it is top of my Birthday list! (Am I too old to still have a Birthday list…?) I do so much baby wearing & and having a backpack instead of over the shoulder would make a huge difference plus this one comes with a laptop sleeve, bottle insulator & enough space to carry the millions of things you need to survive a day out of the house with baby!

4. Laura Lee – Medium 9ct Rose Gold Initial Coin Necklace – £295.00

I’ve loved Laura Lee jewellery for years & have a few of their pieces already. I’ve been thinking for a while how much I’d love a necklace with Isla’s initial on it & I immediately thought of the delicate rose gold coin necklace. So chic and simple!

5. DIPTYQUE Candle – £40

Always a perfect gift. Luxurious & a great way to spoil someone special!

6. Bloom & Wild Flower Subscription – From £50 for 3 months

Why give her just one bunch of flowers when you can surprise her with 3? It’s such a great idea as she doesn’t even need to be in when they are delivered as they can be posted through the letter box. They even come with instructions for how best to arrange them!

7. Liberty – Theodora Roberts Revival Radio – £225.00

Barney got me a Roberts radio for Christmas a few years ago as the most beautiful surprise & we now have it on in the kitchen everyday. It makes such a nice change to fill your home with music instead of the noise of the TV! This beautiful Radio is covered in the iconic Liberty print which I really just can’t get enough of!

8.Olympus PEN Digital Camera – E-PL7 – Was £399, Now £299 in Jessops

Capturing memories is one of my greatest joys as a mum & having the perfect tool to do that is essential. This stunning little compact looks incredible but is also so easy to use to achieve amazing results. The E-PL7 features a flip & tilt 1.04M dot touchscreen LCD & even has built-in Wi-fi which lets you instantly share and post your images online via your smartphone. It has a continuous shooting option of up to 8 frames per second, so you’ll never miss a shot & features 14 Art Filters for adding creativity to stills & movies.

9. Kate Spade New York Stationary Collection – Pictured: Notebook – £22 & Thermal Mug – £16

I have accrued quite the Kate Spade handbag collection & now they have brought out a stationary line I know I won’t be able to resist. They make the perfect gifts as everything is cute & quirky, with slogans like ‘Eat Cake for Breakfast’ – I think every woman should have a little of that in her life! 

 

Those are my top picks for store bought gifts – but breakfast in bed, coupons for cuddles & special art work ready for framing are also right up there with the best things a Mum could receive! Having a baby of your own really makes you understand just how much your parents did for you. I’m going to be thanking my Mum, not just on Mothers Day but every day for putting up with all the tantrums & the sleepless nights! Along with the million other things she did for me & continues to do!

How will you be celebrating the wonderful Mumma’s in your life? Share your pictures with me on Instagram @AdventureswithIslaBlog or on Facebook!